Well it is hard to believe that we’ve been in Uganda for 3&1/2 weeks and today was our last day at the clinic and in the field. Stacy and I worked at the Masindi-Kitara Medical Center today and rounded in the inpatient wards with the physician. We helped to make treatment decisions for a patient with diabetes and one with hypertension and acute asthma. One of the recurring themes is lack of access to drugs. The patient with the asthma needed a steroid inhaler but the clinic’s stock was out and a new drug order can’t be placed for another week or so and then it will take a week to arrive. The clinic strives to be self-sustaining by the small fees patients pay for service and there is not enough money to buy extra drugs that might not be needed so the ordering decisions are based on past usage and if they get more asthma patients this month than last, there might not be enough drugs. The good thing is that there are other pharmacies in town and hopefully one of them will have what the patient needs. Jeff and Nikko spent their last day in Masindi out in the field with a crew of medical personnel from TASO. Their experience was similar to mine and Stacy’s but unfortunately they did more observing than service because every time they asked to help, the staff just said, “no, you are our guests, you mustn’t do work- just relax”. This is probably a cultural misunderstanding because I’m sure the TASO staff was being kind and thoughtful but what they didn’t realize is that the pharmacy students really wanted to help and just sitting around makes them feel like they are not part of the team.
If you’ve been following the blog all along, you will remember that I brought several suitcases of items to donate. The picture above is of Rev. Eva’s from the Masindi-Kitara Diocese of the Church of Uganda and me as she receives the reading glasses I brought for her to use with her women’s groups and for anyone else who needs them. I also brought her some prayer shawls along with the Little Dresses for Africa and some baby hats. My church was able to collect so many pairs of reading glasses that I was also able to donate some of them to the Health Outreach Missionary for the Masindi-Kitara Diocese and to the ophthalmologist at Mulago National Hospital in Kampala. See the photo below.
We ended the day with a wonderful treat- we were invited to Rev Evas home for dinner with her family. She made a traditional meal of local foods including a chicken sauce served with matoke (mashed banana), Irish potatoes (white potatoes), white rice, spaghetti, baked pumpkin, millet, a green pea sauce, a bean sauce, g-nut sauce (like a peanut sauce), and greens. You can see how much food there was on our plates in the pictures below. We ended the meal with steamed milk with a soy coffee with sugar- really delicious. Rev Evas is the women in blue, her husband, Sem, is next to me in the chairs. The man with the students is their oldest son, Julius who is a water engineer and is going to South Sudan to work in a few days. Rev Evas and her whole family was wonderful to talk to and being invited to her home to share a delicious meal was truly a blessing. The final piece of potpourri for today is the video below. It isn’t great quality but you will get what I’m trying to show.
Now when I got back from dinner tonight I noticed a few ants on the floor by the bathroom. I looked more closely and saw a lot more than a few and then I noticed that they were carrying a piece of cracker across the floor that I must have dropped yesterday. Yes, it was kind of gross, but I could stop watching them. The cracker was so much bigger than them yet they were moving it gracefully. So, check out the video. You can be assured, now, though, that those ants are no longer in my room.